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© Gene Ambo/Retna Ltd./Corbis
“The song starts innocently, tied to where I wanted to see the record headed – very riff-heavy and bluesy, with lots of open spaces where Sam could tell a story. Of course, I had no idea what the story might be – that would come later.
“Chad and Mike really took the riff and propelled it. This is another song where the chorus is just barre chords, and I thought somebody might say to me, ‘Hey Joe, isn’t that a little simple?’ You know – ‘Where’s that fancy stuff you do on your solo records?’ But again, it’s what worked.
“For the solo, though, I went the other way, from the Ramones and White Stripes to something totally crazy, which somehow fit the mood of the song. On the whole album, I used the prototype for my signature JVM410 Marshall amp. All we had to do was change channels and modes on the amp, and we got everything we wanted.
“Lyrically, Up Next took on a lot of weight following the death of one of our managers, Carter. He was sick during the making of the album and died before we finished. Sammy wanted to sing about Carter, and it’s a true testament to his abilities as a communicator that he could deliver such a message without going over the top.”